The general public is increasingly aware of the importance of dietary calcium for bone health. However, there's even more compelling evidence on the effects of calcium intake and body composition. 

The amount of calcium within the diet appears to be a key component that regulates how easily you burn or store body fat. 

Scientific evidence suggests that a high calcium intake not only offers real protection against body fat accumulation, it enables a person to utilize (burn) more fat for energy. Calcium influences how easily an individual gains or loses body fat.

During a controlled nutrition plan, calcium appears to help prevent fat gain as well as increase fat metabolism during controlled nutrition plans. Recently, scientists at the University of Colorado reported that people who consume a high calcium intake can mobilize stored fat and use it for energy much easier than people on a low calcium intake. You can read more in Calcium: your secret weapon against fat loss!

The only way to burn body fat is to mobilize it from fat cells and get it into circulation as free fatty acids. For active people the results on calcium were witnessed utilizing lean individuals.
his research is particularly important as most fat loss studies involve overweight participants. 

So the big money question is, how much do you need each day?

Before you go stampeding for the calcium supplement stand at your local store, there's a few key points you need to consider.

State of the art assessment methods now reveal that the bioavailability of calcium in food is most important to obtaining this mineral’s health benefits.

Bioavailability suggests the likelihood of the calcium to be absorbed and assimilated into tissue and biological processes. In a detailed report that compared research on the bioavailability of difference sources of calcium, dairy foods won hands down.

Additionally, some compounds in food can form insoluble complexes with calcium, thereby reducing its absorption of the diet, these include; phytates found in bran and most cereals and seeds, oxalates in spinach, rhubarb, walnuts and sorrel, and tannins (found in tea).
To combat this, a diet rich in dairy foods seems to be the only way to ensure a large portion of your calcium intake is retained and utilized by the body.

The good news for vegetarians is that that most fibers (cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignins and non-cellulose polysaccharides) seem to have no direct effect on calcium absorption.

In most of the cross-sectional studies involving people, calcium intake was measured in servings per day. This made it difficult to determine an effective dose for health-conscious people. However, a dose-dependant effect was clear. That is, more calcium in the diet means there's a better chance of achieving and keeping a leaner body.

Experts in this field propose an intake of calcium somewhere between 1000mg 1300mg per day for health people, including teens. However, recent government research shows that approximately 90% of teenage girls don't get anywhere near this. As further evidence, 1 in 2 females are affected by osteoporosis in their later years say from 50 + -70.  Interestingly, 1 in 3 males over the age of 60 also develop osteoporosis!

The best sources of calcium for fat loss

Food (serving size) & approximate calcium content (milligrams)

*Low fat milk (1 cup) - 300mgs
*Powdered non fat milk (1 tbspn) - 50mgs
*Non fat yogurt (1cup) - 400mgs
*Non fat cottage cheese (1 cup) - 400mgs
Sardines (85gm) - 370mgs
Salmon   (85gm) - 210mgs
Spinach (1 cup) - 170mgs
Broccoli (1 cup) - 150gms
Turnip greens (1cup) - 190gms
*VP2 whey isolate (1scoop)- 100mgs

* designates a high bioavailability (dairy) calcium source.

I have also provided a quick reference chart to help guide you on food selections to meet your calcium requirements - this will really help your meal planning.


Learning Task: assess your daily calcium choices using the chart, then create a day's eating for you that will boost your intake of calcium.

Despite being out of the competition arena for more that 10 years, 2-time INBA Ms Olympia & World Figure Champ  Shar Sault stays in incredible shape. Shar is the author of the MP Cookbible - Over 150 FDN recipes!

For more great nutrition articles & tips by Shar type FDN into the search engine.

Read more about Shar here.

Special Discounted Offer!!

  • Over 120 NEW Body Sculpting Recipes.
  • Over 300 recipes on-line!
  • My Food Prep video series!
  • Access my Exclusive Members Zone!